Vasili’s Garden and Cire Students: A Partnership in Learning

For over six years, Cire has proudly contributed to Vasili’s Garden to Kitchen, a quarterly magazine distributed nationally, including New Zealand. It is headed by celebrity gardener Vasili Kanidiadis, known for his gardening show on 7+ and range of branded gardening products. The magazine features Cire students who have crafted themed recipes and prepared dishes appearing in the Cire Community Kids feature.

The Thrill of Creative Contribution
Cire students are thrilled to be part of the magazine and learn the entire concept, from initial theme ideas to the final studio images. Guided by their cookery curriculum, teachers and the marketing team collaborate on concepts with significant student input, fostering a sense of ownership and creativity among the young learners.

An Evolving Cast: From Middle Years to VET Delivered to Secondary Students (VETDSS)
Over the years, the cast for this special project has evolved. Initially involving middle-year students, the project now prominently features VETDSS participants. These students, working towards their Certificate II in Cookery, gain invaluable hands-on experience that complements their academic pursuits.

Collaboration Between Local School and Cire Students
For the latest edition—the 25th in which we have participated—we tried something new that worked brilliantly. VETDSS from Cire Training (Registered Training Organisation RTO) teamed up with Cire Community School students studying the same qualification. This collaboration proved to be a resounding success, as new connections were formed between the students, and they worked together to achieve a common goal.

A Partnership Rooted in History
Our journey with Vasili began when he spoke at our AGM in 2018. Impressed by our Community Cookbook created to raise funds, Vasili invited us to participate in the quarterly magazine on the spot. We eagerly accepted, and the rest is history. Over the years, we have created themes ranging from grazing platters to healthy brunch options. Each edition thoughtfully planned to utilise seasonal produce—an educational and enjoyable process for the students.

Sustainability at the Core
Sustainability is a cornerstone of our collaboration. Our Yarra Junction Campus features a community garden managed by horticulture students, providing fresh produce right at our doorstep. The purpose-built kitchen, managed by our head chef and teacher Ian Sepping, serves as the venue where students prepare recipes for the magazine and makes a perfect backdrop for photoshoots.

Sustainable Food A Celebration for our 25th Collaboration
This edition is particularly special as it focuses on sustainable food, a topic close to our hearts and values. Here’s a sneak peek:

The Head-to-Tail Approach for Sustainability: Re-thinking the Way We Cook
In this edition, we emphasise making the most out of every part of an animal, using a chicken as our subject. Students learn how to bone a whole chicken and then portion it out to create five dishes. Teaching young people about sustainable cooking is invaluable. In a world where food waste is at an all-time high and inflation impacts household budgets, reducing waste is not just ethical—it’s practical. Families can enjoy nutritious meals while minimising their environmental footprint by adopting a head-to-tail approach.

Welcoming New Talent
With the RTO now involved, we are delighted to welcome Emily Sullivan into the fold. A qualified chef, Emily trains cookery and tourism at our Lilydale Training campus. Her expertise and enthusiasm add tremendous value to this ongoing project, which benefits students in numerous ways.

Looking Forward
Our heartfelt thanks go to Vasili, his team, and ours for making this longstanding partnership possible. Together, we showcase our students’ talents and instil values of sustainability and creativity that will serve them well into the future.

As we continue to work closely with Vasili and his team, we look forward to many more editions highlighting our students’ culinary talents and promoting sustainable living practices that can make a real difference in today’s world.

Be sure to pick up the latest edition at your local newsagent and see the incredible work our students have put into it. And if you have any questions or would like to get involved, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Cire. Together, we can cultivate a brighter, more sustainable future.

Click the links below to learn more:

Cire Training – VETDSS

Cire Community School

Vasili’s Garden